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The Hollies Forum Index » Reflections Of A Time Long Past » A Crazy Steal
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Johngill Post subject:
Bass Guitar


Bass Guitar
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 58
Location: Essex

I'm just going through my vinyl and cassettes and using the wonderful Audacity to convert them to MP3. The one I'm doing now is 'A Crazy Steal' and I can't believe how good this album is, listening to it again after quite a long time.

The bass playing is excellent and the whole thing is just a real pleasure to listen to,

All kinds of influences - some stand-out tracks like Romance, Caraccas, Boulder, Writing.

It makes me realise again why I love this band so much.
PostPosted:Sun Apr 04, 2010 20:35 pm
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dcpurcell Post subject: Romany
Bass Guitar


Bass Guitar
Joined: 23 Apr 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Kentucky, USA

I wasn't following the Hollies when Nash left the group but became a devoted fan a year or so afterwards. Allan Clarke had become my favorite singer and when it was announced that he was leaving the Hollies I was really disappointed and I couldn't imagine the Hollies without his voice. It hit me about as hard as the Beatles breaking up and Altamont. When Romany was released I bought it immediately with the expectation that it would be terrible and I could easily stop following the Hollies.

However, from the first song to the last I loved Romany. The songs were powerful and melodic and like with 'Slow Down', Blue in the Morning', and 'Won't We Feel Good', really rocking. Their treatment of 'Jesus Was a Crossmaker' was haunting and superb. I've heard different versions of the song, including Judee Sills and none other can compare. Easily their greatest song ever, even comparing "He Ain't Heavy', which was really kitsch.

Comparing Allan Clarke's voice to Mikael Rickfors is like comparing a Volswagen to a Mercedes Rickfors had a deep, rich voice of great range. Allan at his worst could be quite shrill and nasal-just listen to his version of 'Out on the Road' or "Trans-Atlantic Jet'. There is no comparison. The Hollies chose Rickfors for his beautiful voice and it dominates 'Romany'.

One thing that was lacking in 'Romany' was the dreadful clunker, the really mindless song that was always included on previous Hollies albums. You know, the song that your friends would walk in on while you're playing a Hollies album. They'd give you a look like 'You listen to this junk?' And you're embarrassed and say ' no really, the song before and the song after are great, just listen to this'. But you've lost them. Now you're regarded as hopeless and lame while they're babbling about the Stones and Pink Floyd.

From opening song to the last Romany is by far their greatest album and most solid piece of work It has a cohesion that only their Buddy Holly album and 5317704 approaches. There's no silly 'Wiggle that Wotsits' to mar Romany. There's a maturity and depth that was sadly lost upon Allan's return. I wound up being more saddened by Allan's rejoining the Hollies than I was by his departure.

The only good thing about Allan's return was that the Hollies would continue. It was evident that Romany was not a commercial success and that the group couldn't continue without Allan. The Hollies did record some great music afterwards but I'll always think of Romany and Out on the Road and wonder what great music might have been created if Mikael Rickfors could have stayed.
PostPosted:Sat Nov 13, 2010 15:07 pm
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butterflybye Post subject:
Banjo


Banjo
Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 43
Location: Alberta, Canada

I loved the album and thought Caraccas was outstanding.
PostPosted:Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:19 am
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Phil Cohen Post subject:
Acoustic Guitar


Acoustic Guitar
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 115
Location: Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, U.S.A.

To this day, the best sounding CD of "A Crazy Steal" is the one in the EMI 4-CD box "Four More Hollies Originals".

If you are thinking of buying the French "Magic" label CD reissue to get the non-L.P. B-side "Crossfire"....don't. The "Magic" label is dubbing that B-side from vinyl, and though the song starts off sounding passable, it gradually gets more distorted.
PostPosted:Sat Apr 09, 2011 22:19 pm
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